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Posted by Marlissa Briggett on February 9th, 2021
Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around town to their favorite food spots because they know that this year, more than ever, our favorite restaurants need a shout-out. S&B wanted to focus on Valentine’s Day this month — so we found a pair of restaurant love stories….
Carol Lareau sees a lot of date nights at her restaurant, Tastebuds in Mattapoisett. She can often tell when there’s a special spark. But she says there are 2 seats in particular that have proved lucky for love: seats 7 and 8 at the bar. She even has conjured a special rhyme for the phenomenon, “Bar seat 7 and 8, Bring a date, Soon to be your mate!”
More than one couple have had their first date at those seats and gone on to long term relationships. We caught up with one of them…
Michael & Jennifer
When Michael and Jennifer showed up on their first date to take seats 7 and 8, Carol says, “I could feel the energy, I called Jennifer’s sister, ‘Hey, something’s going on!'” Before Jennifer made it out the door, she had a text from her sister “Are you on a date with Mike?!” By the time she got home, she says everyone knew.
It wasn’t supposed to be a date. After bumping into each other while separately running, Jennifer and Michael made plans to run together after work. They enjoyed each other’s company so much, they wanted to extend it so they decided to go eat. “We were both so excited, we didn’t even want to go home to shower first,” Jennifer says. On that hot July day, they showed up at Tastebuds sweaty and dirty. Jennifer wants to be clear about one thing: Tastebuds is a nice restaurant, not the kind of place you show up with your phone tucked into a sports bra, but the connection with Mike was so intense, “apparently I didn’t care. The whole world didn’t matter.”
Over 5 years later, they’re still excited to sit in seats 7 and 8. They’ve bought a house together in the Village “walkable to Tastebuds — it had to be walkable to Tastebuds.” And whenever they can, they sit in those special seats. The magic’s still there.
Pictured right: fire roasted shrimp with housemade salsa and wonton chips.
Tastebuds will be open this weekend (including Sunday brunch) for your own love story. They’ll be serving their special Valentine’s menu on Saturday and Sunday. Seats 7 and 8 still have some openings but they’re going fast. For takeout, preorder on Friday for Saturday pickup and Saturday for Sunday pickup. Tastebuds, 42 Main Street, Mattapoisett.
Chris & Jen
Just down Route 6 in Marion, you’ll find chef-owner Chris Thibeault in the kitchen of Atlantic Bistro who has his own very personal restaurant love story. He met his wife Jen when she was a bartender and he was a sous-chef at Mount Blue in Norwell (owned by Joe Perry and Steven Tyler). Unlike our previous couple, Chris’ love story was a little rockier. Jen had a boyfriend when they met but that was not the only obstacle. The problem was that she didn’t really like Chris. He says, “she thought I was particularly cheesy.”
He persevered in proving her wrong. Then, when Jen and her boyfriend broke up, “I saw an opening and made my move,” he says. That was more than 20 years ago so it’s worked out pretty well for him. Jen was instrumental in helping Chris launch Atlantic Bistro in 2017 where he brought his European inspired dishes to Marion.
Atlantic Bistro is closed on Sundays so this year, Chris will be spending Valentine’s Day with Jen. You wonder what a high end chef does for Valentine’s Day? They’ll likely go to brunch for bloody marys and eggs benedict, their usual Sunday treat. But it doesn’t have to be even that elaborate, he says, “if someone makes me a grilled cheese and I don’t have to cook it, I’m happy.”
In the meantime, he’s also happy to transport you away on Friday and Saturday with his food. You can’t jump on a plane to Paris for Valentine’s Day but you can have some French-inspired food at Atlantic Bistro (think duck confit poutine, mushroom tartine, classic pate). You can also try some other specials that will make you feel like you’ve travelled far away from 02738.
After dinner, while you’re savoring the Moroccan-inspired Cardamom and Coriander Cake with chai syrup, topped with a whipped honey syrup (courtesy of Chef de Cuisine Tom Kilbourne), give a silent thanks to Jen for giving Chris a chance two decades ago.
Atlantic Bistro, 167 Spring Street, Marion.
We hope you enjoyed this post, which is part of a series of blog posts celebrating local food spots, sponsored by Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., the premier estate planning and elder law practice serving clients in Southeastern Massachusetts. Surprenant & Beneski, PC can help you prepare the foundational documents needed to facilitate healthcare, financial and legal decisions should a medical crisis occur. Early planning can save money, heartache and angst during a temporary bout of incapacity or a long-term care event. Getting your estate plan in order gives you peace of mind – is it on your to-do list for 2021? Find out more about them here.
In the meantime, if you want to make sure you don’t miss learning the next of S&B’s other favorite food spots, sign up here.
Last post in the series: Margaret’s in Fairhaven — Catch the seafood at Margaret’s right here.Read More
Posted by Marlissa Briggett on February 1st, 2021
Forget about whether the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2. February 2 is also known as Candlemas, an ancient festival marking the midpoint of winter, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox! Doesn’t that sound more positive than pinning our hopes on a groundhog? To nudge us even closer to spring, we’ve rounded up 8 Great Things for you to do in the month ahead, with many thanks to Anne Whiting Real Estate for sponsoring this!Read More
Posted by Marlissa Briggett on January 26th, 2021
Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is sending us around town to their favorite food spots because they know this this year, more than ever, our favorite restaurants need a shout-out. S&B loves Margaret’s in Fairhaven and they had a special reason for sending us there this month…
Margaret’s chef-owner Doug Buker started as a dishwasher at Seekonk’s Cafe in the Barn when he was 15 years old. Mostly, he was drawn to the kitchen because it paid better than his other gig: caddying at Crestwood Country Club in Rehoboth. But soon, he was moving up in kitchens from Houston to Providence: from washing dishes to prepping the food, he joined the line, moved up the line, and then eventually landed at head chef. He is now owner-chef of the beloved Margaret’s and its sister restaurant Elisabeth’s (note: Elisabeth’s is hibernating until spring).
He’s there every morning at 6 am (usually earlier), literally playing with fire. The sauté pans sit on open flames ready for action, even when they’re empty. “If you’re cooking, and you’re a sauté chef, you better have a hot pan!” he says.
For Doug, it’s all about colors. That’s what he’s thinking about when he creates a dish. He wants greens, reds, whites, and oranges on the plate. It’s pretty, yes, but it’s also the way we should be eating for heart health. That is one of the reasons we approached Doug about healthy eating choices for this series. Our sponsor Surprenant & Beneski’s senior partner, Dan Surprenant had some very personal reasons. It was just one year ago that Dan had major heart attack followed by a quadruple bypass, at just 51 years of age. Happily, Dan has had a great recovery but, like many of us, is looking for ways to incorporate heart healthy eating into his diet. We thought that Margaret’s, with its focus on seafood (within sight of the scallop and fishing boats plying the Acushnet River), seemed a great place to turn.
When we asked Doug to recreate one of his favorite seafood dishes, he suggested four (!). Sure, we said, because why not? Doug started flying gracefully around the kitchen prepping the food: grabbing some greens, grilling some asparagus, frying up some sweet potato shoestrings and more. In less than half an hour, he was ready for the photo shoot.
One of his favorite dishes is the fresco haddock which is also one of Margaret’s most popular. You’ve got the haddock, which is lightly fried, set atop a bed of greens and a fresh tomato-basil relish and then garnished with shoestring sweet potato fries. He garnishes it with some lemon aioli and lemon zest and, bam, you’re getting all your colors. He wasn’t done with haddock though. He grilled some and combined it with grilled asparagus, pesto and almonds. Then he wowed us with grilled scallops with a maple-mustard sauce that he used for a scallop salad. He also paired the scallops with corn relish, greens and mashed potatoes for yet another variation.
In the same way that Doug juggles multiple dinners, he also juggles running both kitchens — he credits his amazing team for making it work (shout out to Brad!). Doug likes that the two restaurants each have their own flavor. Margaret’s is a breakfast and lunch place, where you can BYOB. Elisabeth’s is for lunch or a night out, with a full service bar.
You may see Doug darting between the two kitchens during the day in the little alley between the two buildings. But you won’t see him out front as he prefers staying in the background. When we asked him to sit down in the dining room to try his own scallops, he said it was a first, “I’ve never sat out here before,” he said. He took a forkful and nodded, “tastes good.” That’s definitely an understatement. Everyone else thinks it tastes great.
Longtime waitress Diane Downey says she loves working at Margaret’s. “I love the locals coming in. The food – everything is fresh, nothing from a box. I’m proud to serve it.”
Photos by Liam Connor Photography
We hope you enjoyed this post, which is part of a series of blog posts celebrating local food spots, sponsored by Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., the premier estate planning and elder law practice serving clients in Southeastern Massachusetts. This month marks one year since Managing Partner Dan Surprenant personally recognized the value of being prepared in the event of a medical crisis. Read Dan’s heartfelt story here. Surprenant & Beneski, PC can help you prepare the foundational documents needed to facilitate healthcare, financial and legal decisions should a medical crisis occur. Early planning can save money, heartache and angst during a temporary bout of incapacity or a long-term care event. Getting your estate plan in order gives you peace of mind – is it on your to-do list for 2021? Find out more about them here.
In the meantime, if you want to make sure you don’t miss learning about more of S&B’s other favorite food spots, sign up here.
Last post in the series: New Bedford’s The Baker — Click here to see Brandon Roderick whip up some cronuts….Read More